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What is dyslexia? An exploration of the relationship between teachers' understandings of dyslexia and their training experiences

Knight, Cathryn 2018. What is dyslexia? An exploration of the relationship between teachers' understandings of dyslexia and their training experiences. Dyslexia 24 (3) , pp. 207-219. 10.1002/dys.1593

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Abstract

Given that an estimated 5–10% of the worldwide population is said to have dyslexia, it is of great importance that teachers have an accurate understanding of what dyslexia is and how it effects their students. Using results from a large‐scale survey of teachers in England and in Wales (N ≈ 2,600), this paper demonstrates that teachers held a basic understanding of dyslexia, based on the behavioural issues that it is associated with. Teachers lacked the knowledge of the biological (i.e., neurological) and cognitive (i.e., processing) aspects of dyslexia. Moreover, a number of teachers mentioned visual factors in their description of dyslexia, despite there being inconclusive evidence to suggest a direct relationship between visual functioning and dyslexia. Further findings demonstrate the importance of good‐quality teacher training in increasing teachers' confidence working with those with dyslexia, while increasing their knowledge of the cognitive aspects of dyslexia. This paper argues that evidence‐based teacher training, which informs teachers of the up‐to‐date research on the biological, cognitive, and behavioural aspects of dyslexia, is essential to combat misconceptions and ensure that teachers have more nuanced and informed understandings of dyslexia.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1076-9242
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 20 June 2018
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:54
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/113325

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